Pet Therapy, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Fish Therapy, wait Fish Therapy? On a recent vacation to the Caribbean I started noticing kiosks set up with what looked like large fish tanks with the tops of the tanks open. People had their feet submerged in these tanks and the fish were nibbling at their feet. On my first pass through I did a double take. On my second pass through I stood and stared, ok I gawked. On my third pass through I asked the people sitting (with their feet submerged) how it felt.
“Nice,” was their response.
“Does it tickle?” I inquired.
“Not really,” they responded.
I then turned to the operator of the kiosks and asked what was the purpose of these fish? They told me they feed off the dead skin of your feet. Interesting I thought as I moved on.
I didn’t think much of these dead skin eating fish until I got to the last stop of my vacation and came up to another of these fish kiosks. At this point I examined it a little closer and noticed the tank of water was filtered. If I was considering submerging my feet into a tank of water I didn’t want to come into contact with anyone else’s bacteria.
So I decided to take the plunge. The cool water felt good against the warm Caribbean air. I immediately felt fish go after my feet as they felt a foreign object invade their tranquil space. I looked down and watched as roughly 50 fish started nibbling at my feet, toes and ankles. So did it tickle? No not really- as a person who is very ticklish I was rather surprised.
I sat with my feet submerged for about 15 minutes. The only thing I didn’t like was when the fish tried to get in between my toes. Other than that there were periods of time when the fish got bored of my feet or just got used to a foreign object in the tank and swan away. So I would move my feet around a little and they swam back to me.
All in all it didn’t feel much different than an elongated pedicure.
So my question is… Do I think I received any therapy? No not really. I tried it once will most probably not try it again. I do think they “borrowed” the word THERAPY to attract the average person.